Pat Bay roadwork a headache for some Saanich sleepers

Saanich's director of engineering says he receives a couple calls each day from Quadra/Saanich Road-area residents complaining about the overnight resurfacing work on the Pat Bay Highway and Vernon Avenue.

  • Sep. 14, 2011 12:00 p.m.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is keeping some Saanich residents up at night.

Saanich’s director of engineering says he receives a couple calls each day from Quadra/Saanich Road-area residents complaining about the overnight resurfacing work on the Pat Bay Highway and Vernon Avenue.

“It’s a provincial road. They have complete control over the hours of work and how that work takes place,” Colin Doyle said. Some residents, he says, believe the noise is coming from the more-visible construction site on Tattersall Drive, but the contractor there isn’t working at night.

The $3.3 million resurfacing project on the Pat Bay runs from Tolmie Avenue to Sayward Road and includes paving, milling and repairs.

Kate Trotter, a spokesperson with the ministry, wrote in an email that the overnight work is being done “to minimize the inconvenience to highway users,” citing an average 52,000 vehicles that travel the road every day.

Work is being done between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., Monday to Friday, and 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., Saturdays.

The project is entirely out of the municipality’s hands, Doyle said, noting that major roadwork sometimes is best done overnight to accommodate the most people.

“It’s very unusual to do work at night. It’s obviously more costly than doing the work during the day, and it’s more difficult to maintain quality control, so (working at night is) always done out of necessity,” he said. “With Highway 17, I don’t know that the ministry had a lot of options.”

Trotter said the only notifications residents received about the work is signage in and around the work zones that advise of detours and closures.

The work is expected to be complete by Oct. 6.

kslavin@saanichnews.com